Google's Latest Triumph: an Apple Beatdown That's Not iPhone-related

Dumenco's Trendrr Chart of the Week

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The buzz about Google's Nexus One phone has been so deafening that maybe you missed a bit of news about the Big G's minor triumph in another area: Its new-ish web browser, Chrome, "hit a milestone over the weekend," Ian Paul of PC World reported, "when it became the third-most-popular browser after Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, according to metrics firm Net Applications. It controls just 4.63% of the browser market, but Chrome has made significant inroads against competing browsers, such as the former bronze-medalist Apple Safari."

Which brings me to this week's Trendrr chart. A few notes and observations:

  • Chrome was officially released (in a Windows version) just a little over a year ago, in December 2008 (the Mac version came a lot later; see below). By contrast, Apple Safari, which Google Chrome just overtook, has been around since 2003 in its Mac version and 2007 in its Windows version.
  • Chrome has basically been in a two-way race with Firefox in terms of Twitter buzz, though it's lately had two big surges of interest among the Twitterati, most recently on Dec. 8 -- 35,478 tweets on that day name-checked Chrome -- thanks to the release of the first official public beta of Chrome for Mac.
  • A little over a year ago, I predicted in my "Media Guy" column that "Google will monetize tons more white space -- including, finally, its home page." At the time, I wrote, "It's almost become a religious doctrine that Google's exceedingly spare, ad-free home page is inviolable (with a few exceptions, such as the cutesy holiday-themed decorations of its logo)," but I was convinced that Google would inevitably decide that there was nothing wrong with advertising on its home page. You've probably noticed Google advertising, yep, Chrome on its home page lately. Henry Blodget of the Silicon Alley Insider first noticed the day after Christmas. (Back in Dec. 2008, for the record, I also predicted that Google would buy Yelp -- which Google finally tried to do just last month. Thanks, Google, for making all my dreams -- and nightmares -- come true.)
P.S. Looking for the latest Media Guy column? It's right here.)

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Dumenco's Trendrr Chart of the Week is produced in collaboration with Wiredset, the New York digital agency behind Trendrr, a social- and digital-media tracking service. More background here. A basic Trendrr account is free; Trendrr Pro, which offers more robust tracking and reporting tools, comes in various paid flavors (get the details here).

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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